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  Phyllanthus emblica L.
  Family Name : Phyllanthaceae

  Synonyms : Phyllanthus mimosifolius, Phyllanthus mairei, Phyllanthus taxifolius

  Common Names : Indian Gooseberry, Emblic

Indian Gooseberry,Emblic
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Division :
      Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
      Plant Growth Form :
      Tree (Big (>30m))
      Lifespan (in Singapore) :
      Mode of Nutrition :
      Plant Shape :
      Maximum Height :
      18 m to 32 m
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Southeast Asia, and China
      Native Habitat :
      Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest; Secondary Rainforest)
      Preferred Climate Zone :
      Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
      Local Conservation Status :
      Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: It is a large tree with thick arching branches, 18-32 m tall.
      Foliage: Its alternate, stalked leaves have papery leaf blades that are oblong or linear-oblong, green above, paler below, reddish or brownish when dry, and 512 cm by 1.52.5 cm.
      Flowers: Its flowers are about 3 mm across, white, and grow in clusters at terminal shoots.
      Fruits: Its fruits are green-yellow, slightly round, about 2030 mm across, and have a fleshy fruit wall. Its reddish seeds are 3.94.5 mm long.
      Habitat :
      It grows in forests up to 1450 m altitude. It occurs locally in the vicinity of MacRitchie Reservoir.
      Associated Fauna :
      It is the preferred local food plant for caterpillars of the several moth species including Arctoscelis epinyctia; Dysgonia joviana; Ectropina acidula; Ectropis bhurmitra; Hypolamprus emblicalis; Maxates dissimulata; Thaumatotibia encarpa; and Zeuzera coffeae.
      Cultivation :
      It can be propagated by seed.
      Etymology :
      Greek phyllon, a leaf, Greek anthus, flower, referring to the flowers in the axils of the leaves of the phyllomorphic branch; emblica, from the Sanskrit name amalika, which means sour
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: Sour fruits are rich in vitamin C and may be eaten raw or cooked. They are added to desserts and condiments, such as preserves, tarts and chutney. Outdoor laborers consume the fruit as a thirst quencher, because the sour taste stimulates saliva production..)
      Medicinal (Its fruit pulp is smeared on the head to dispel headache and dizziness, caused by excessive heat and fever. Its fruit juice is used for the treatment of inflamed eyes, colic, and other abdominal disorders. Its fruit is valued as a refrigerant, diuretic and antibiotic, and considered useful in the treatments of haemorrhages, diarrhea, dysentery, anaemia, jaundice, scurvy, dyspepsia, diabetes, fever, bronchitis and cough. It is used as an ingredient for several medicines of the indigenous Ayurvedic system. Its leaf decoctions are used as a febrifuge and for skin diseases. Its seeds are applied against asthma, bronchitis, and biliousness, whereas flowers are credited with refrigerant and laxative properties. Its bark is used for the treatment of diarrhoea or as a stomachium for elephants. Its root bark is used as an astringent and mixed with honey, to treat inflammation in the mouth.), Timber & Products (Its wood is used for the construction of furniture and implements; it is very durable when submerged. Its wood is also suitable as firewood and produces charcoal of good quality.)
      [Others]: The Akha in northern Thailand use the fruit as a masticatory and to blacken the teeth. Its dried fruits are sometimes used as a shampoo. Its fruits, leaves and bark are used for tanning and dyeing. Its leaves and fruits are used for animal fodder, whereas leaves can also be applied as green manure.
  • Landscaping Features
    • Landscaping :
      It is suitable for parks and gardens for its edible fruits and weeping form.
      Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Form
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Economic Garden
  • Fauna, Pollination & Dispersal
    • Associated Fauna :
      Caterpillar (Moth) Food Plant
      Pollination Method(s) :
      Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))
      Seed / Spore Dispersal :
      Biotic (Fauna)
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water
      Propagation Method :
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Mature Foliage Texture(s) :
      Foliar Type :
      Compound (Even-Pinnate)
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong; Linear)
      Foliar Venation :
      Pinnate / Net
      Foliar Margin :
      Entire, Pinnately Lobed / Pinnatifid
      Foliar Apex / Tip :
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Bisexual Flowers
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Flower Grouping :
      Cluster / Inflorescence
      Flower Location :
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Mature Fruit Texture(s) :
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Fruit Type :
      Fleshy Fruit (Non-Accessory Fruit: Berry)
  • References
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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